Different Types Of Freemasons

Freemasonry is an ancient and honourable fraternity which has been in existence for centuries and boasts millions of members across the globe. It is a fraternal, social and charitable organization that has evolved with the times and includes a variety of different types of Freemasons. These include Regular Freemasonry, Co-Masonry, Liberal Freemasonry, Reformed Masonry, Women’s Masonry and Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Each type of Freemasonry is unique in its own way and serves to promote brotherhood among its adherents.

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization with lodges all over the world. There are many different types of Freemasons’ lodges, each of which serves a unique purpose and has its own distinct rituals. The three main types are Blue Lodge Masonry, York Rite Masonry, and Scottish Rite Masonry.

Blue Lodge Masonry is the most common type of Freemasonry lodge and is the foundation of all other lodges. It is divided into three degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. Each degree has its own unique rituals and teachings that members must learn before progressing to the next degree.

York Rite Masonry is an extension of Blue Lodge Masonry, with additional degrees that build upon the teachings of the Blue Lodge. It consists of nine degrees divided into three sections: The Symbolic Lodge (Entered Apprentice through Master Mason), The Chapter (Royal Arch), and The Council (Cryptic).

Scottish Rite Masonry is an extension of York Rite Masonry, with additional degrees that build upon the teachings of both York Rite and Blue Lodge masonry. It consists of thirty-three degrees divided into two sections: The Lodge of Perfection (4° through 14°) and The Consistory (15° through 33°).

Each type of Freemasons’ lodge brings something unique to its members, from the symbolism to the secrets they learn as they progress in their journey as a Freemason.

Masonic Symbols and Their Meanings

Masonry is known for its many symbols, each of which have deep and symbolic meanings. Freemasonry is believed to have originated during the Middle Ages, when stonemasons would use various symbols in their craft. The symbols are divided into three categories: the first being the tools of the trade, such as compasses and squares; the second being the signs of recognition, such as a Masonic ring or pin; and finally, the symbols of morality, such as a white apron or book of sacred knowledge. Here are some of the most common masonic symbols and their meanings:

• The Square & Compass: This is one of the most widely recognized symbols in Freemasonry. It represents moral ethics and principles that all Masons should strive to uphold. The square represents truth, while the compass stands for self-control. Together they form a symbol that reminds us to always strive for justice and integrity.

• The Apron: This symbol has been used in Freemasonry since its inception. It serves as a reminder that Masons must be pure in their actions and thoughts. It can also represent humility before God.

• The All Seeing Eye: This symbol can be found on many Masonic buildings and regalia. It symbolizes divine providence, reminding us that God is always watching over us.

• The Letter ‘G’: This letter has multiple meanings within Freemasonry. It can stand for ‘God’ or ‘Geometry’ – two important concepts within Masonry. Alternatively, it can also stand for ‘Great Architect of the Universe’ – another important concept within Masonry that reminds us of our dependence on God.

• The Five-Pointed Star: This symbol can be seen on Masonic rings or pendants. It stands for five key virtues all Masons should strive to embody – friendship, morality, brotherly love, relief (charity), and truth.

• Pillars Of Strength & Wisdom: Two pillars are often depicted in Masonic artwork or architecture – one representing strength (Jachin) and one representing wisdom (Boaz). They serve as reminders that we should seek both strength and wisdom in our lives.

These are just some of the many masonic symbols used throughout history. Each symbol carries its own unique meaning which all Masons should strive to understand fully so they may use them to guide their lives towards goodness and truth.

Origin of Grand Lodges of Freemasonry

The origin of Grand Lodges of Freemasonry dates back to the 1700s. The first Grand Lodge was founded in London, England, in 1717, and soon other Grand Lodges began forming across Europe and the Americas. It is believed that Freemasons originated from stonemasons and other craft guilds in medieval Europe, although the exact origins are unclear. By the mid-1800s, most of the world’s Masonic Grand Lodges had been formed.

Structure of Grand Lodges

Grand Lodges are the governing bodies for Freemasonry and consist of representatives from various lodges, or local Masonic chapters. Each Grand Lodge is autonomous and has its own unique structure and set of rules. Most have three degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. In addition, some have higher degrees such as Royal Arch and Scottish Rite. Each lodge also has its own rituals which are used for initiation ceremonies as well as other occasions such as meetings or social events.

Purpose of Grand Lodges

Grand Lodges serve a variety of purposes within Freemasonry. They provide a forum for discussing matters relevant to all lodges within their jurisdiction. They also help establish standards for lodges to follow regarding initiations and ceremonies, as well as any financial or administrative matters that may arise. Additionally, they offer guidance to local lodges on how to properly conduct themselves in accordance with Masonic principles.

Symbols & Traditions

Like all aspects of Freemasonry, symbols play an important role in the practices associated with Grand Lodges. Symbols such as the Square and Compasses are often used during initiation ceremonies or special events held by a lodge or grand lodge. Additionally, certain traditional rituals are performed at each meeting such as the opening and closing ceremonies which involve special speeches or prayers.

Therefore, many grand lodges maintain libraries where members can research Masonic history or read books relating to this ancient fraternity. These libraries often contain rare manuscripts which provide valuable insight into how Freemasonry has evolved over time.

Masonic Rituals and Obligations

Masonic rituals are an important part of Freemasonry, offering members an opportunity to learn and understand the traditional values of the fraternity. These rituals involve a series of secret words and handshakes, as well as providing guidance on proper conduct within the organization. Masonic obligations are a set of promises taken by members, acknowledging their commitment to the teachings of Freemasonry.

The most fundamental Masonic ritual is the initiation ritual, which is used to bring new members into the fraternity. This involves a series of steps that introduce new members to the organization’s core principles and values. During this process, they learn about Masonic symbols and their meaning, as well as taking part in symbolic ceremonies such as taking an oath. The initiation ritual also includes handshakes and secret words that must be spoken in order to gain access to certain areas of the lodge or other Masonic activities.

In addition to initiation rituals, there are also several other rituals that serve specific purposes within Masonry. These include opening and closing ceremonies, which involve reading from sacred texts such as The Bible or The Koran; conferring degrees, which involve teaching new members about different aspects of Freemasonry; and special ceremonies such as funerals or weddings that are conducted under the auspices of Freemasonry.

Masonic obligations are promises taken by new members upon joining the fraternity that bind them to uphold certain principles within Masonry. These include promises not to reveal any secrets learned during their membership in Masonry and to uphold certain moral standards such as refraining from gossip or slanderous behavior towards other members. Additionally, they must obey all laws pertaining to Freemasonry, including those governing its finances or any other type of regulation put in place by local lodges or Grand Lodges.

Masonic rituals and obligations provide an important foundation for Masonry’s core beliefs and principles. They help ensure that all members adhere to a set of shared values while also providing a system for teaching new members about Masonry’s history and traditions. By participating in these rituals and taking on these obligations, Masons can work together towards creating a fraternal atmosphere where they can share knowledge with each other while also upholding their commitments both inside and outside their organization.

Masonic Regalia and Uniforms

Masonic regalia and uniforms are a symbol of the members’ dedication to the organization. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes depending on the rank of the person wearing them. The regalia typically consists of a hat, collar, shirt, and apron or sash. The uniform often includes a jacket, trousers, and tie.

The hat is usually black or white with a feather plume or some other decoration on top. It may also include an embroidered Masonic symbol. The collar is usually white with gold embroidery or trim around it. It also has the Masonic symbol on it.

The shirt is usually white with long sleeves or short sleeves depending on the type of uniform it’s being worn with. It can be plain or have Masonic symbols embroidered on it. The apron is often white as well but may be decorated with Masonic symbols and colors. It is typically held in place by two strings that are tied at the waistband of the pants or skirt that’s being worn under the uniform.

The jacket is often either black or navy blue and has gold buttons along the front edge. It can also have an embroidered Masonic symbol on it. The trousers are usually black or navy blue and have pressed creases down each leg for added formality when wearing them as part of a uniform. Therefore, the tie is typically either black or navy blue and has an embroidered Masonic symbol on it as well.

Masonic regalia and uniforms serve as reminders that members are part of something bigger than themselves—something special—and should be treated with respect at all times when worn in public places such as lodges, meetings, parades, etc.. They’re also important for distinguishing different ranks within Masonry so people know who to address if they need assistance from someone higher up in the organization.

Masonic regalia and uniforms aren’t just for show; they’re symbols of dedication to Masonry that every member should proudly wear whenever possible to show their commitment to their fellow brothers and sisters in arms!

freemason ladder

The York Rite of Freemasonry

The York Rite of Freemasonry is an organization composed of three distinct orders, each with its own hierarchy and protocols. It is one of the two main branches of Freemasonry, the other being the Scottish Rite. The York Rite includes the Royal Arch Degree, the Cryptic Masonry Degrees, and the Knights Templar Degrees. Each order has its own unique rituals and teachings.

The Royal Arch Degree is divided into four sections: The Mark Master Mason Degree, Past Master Degree, Most Excellent Master Degree, and Royal Arch Mason Degree. This degree focuses on leadership and building a strong foundation for Masonic principles. It imparts lessons on morals, justice, temperance, fortitude and brotherly love.

The Cryptic Masonry Degrees are based on ancient mysteries and secrets. They focus on teaching Masonic principles through symbolism and allegory. This degree consists of three sections: The Royal Master Degree, Select Master Degree, and Super Excellent Master Degree.

The Knights Templar Degrees are based on the history of the ancient Knights Templar Order during the Crusades. This degree focuses on Christian charity and faith as well as developing good character traits in its members. It consists of four sections: The Illustrious Order of Red Cross; Order of Malta; Order of Knights Templar; and Knights Templar Priesthood or Grand Encampment Degrees.

The York Rite provides a unique experience for its members by combining these different orders together into one organization with their own distinct teachings and rituals that are based upon ancient traditions and principles that are still relevant today in modern Freemasonry lodges across the world.

Another important part of being a part of the York Rite is that it offers its members an opportunity to become active in local charities through donations or volunteering their time to help those in need in their community or abroad. It also provides opportunities for members to become involved in politics or other projects that help promote peace or goodwill among all people regardless of background or beliefs.

In summary, The York Rite is a significant branch within Freemasonry that offers its members an enhanced educational experience along with opportunities to get involved in charity work or political action which can benefit both their local area as well as global society as a whole. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to form strong bonds with fellow Masons who share similar values while learning about ancient wisdom from centuries past that still holds relevance today.

The History of Scottish Rite Freemasonry

The history of Scottish Rite Freemasonry dates back to the 18th century. It is an offshoot of the traditional York Rite, which itself is derived from the ancient guilds and lodges of operative masons in Scotland. The first Scottish Rite lodge was formed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1801. Since then, it has spread throughout the world and boasts many members across the globe.

The main focus of Scottish Rite Freemasonry is to promote personal development, enlightenment, and brotherhood among its members. Through its many rituals and ceremonies, it teaches its members to strive for spiritual growth and a sense of self-improvement. It also encourages its members to be active participants in their communities through philanthropic work and service projects.


Scottish Rite Freemasonry is divided into 33 degrees or steps of initiation. Each degree has its own special meaning and purpose within the organization. The first three degrees are known as “symbolic” or “blue” degrees – Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason; while the other 30 degrees are referred to as “incomparable” or “red” degrees.

A Supreme Council is responsible for governing each country’s jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Each Supreme Council is composed of 33 Grand Inspectors General who are elected by the local subordinate bodies within their jurisdiction.


At its core, Scottish Rite Freemasonry promotes a philosophy based on three key principles: liberty, equality, and fraternity (brotherhood). These principles are reflected in all aspects of the fraternity’s activities – from initiation rituals to philanthropic work – as a way to remind members that they must always strive for these values in their everyday lives.

It also encourages its members to use reason when making decisions and be tolerant towards those who have different beliefs than them; as well as promote peace through understanding rather than force or violence. In addition, it teaches that every human being should have access to education so that they can improve themselves spiritually and intellectually for their own good as well as the good of society at large.

In Reflection

Scottish Rite Freemasonry provides an important platform for men from all walks of life to come together under one banner and learn valuable lessons about personal development, brotherhood, liberty, equality, fraternity, peace-making abilities; while striving towards spiritual growth both individually and collectively as a whole organisation.


The Shrine: Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine (AAONMS)

The Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine (AAONMS) is a fraternal organization that traces its roots back to the 19th century in North America. It was founded by a group of African American Freemasons who wanted to create an organization that would provide members with better opportunities for social and business networking. The organization is based on the principles of “friendship, morality and brotherly love” and has become an important part of the African American community.

The Shrine is an international organization with more than 200 temples located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Africa and Europe. Its membership consists of men from diverse backgrounds who share a common bond of friendship. In addition to providing members with access to social events and business networking opportunities, the Shrine also offers charitable services such as community outreach initiatives and educational programs for children. Members are also active in civic and political issues as well as humanitarian causes.

One of the most notable features of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine is its elaborate rituals and ceremonies which are known as “Red Fezzes” or “Red Hats”. This ritual involves members wearing red fezzes while participating in various activities such as parades and ceremonial processions. The red fez is seen as a symbol of unity among members of the organization and is often used to represent their commitment to fellowship and brotherhood.

The Shrine also offers a variety of other benefits to its members such as scholarships, travel opportunities, insurance plans, medical coverage, legal assistance programs and discounts on goods and services. Additionally, members can take advantage of its many financial services such as tax preparation assistance, retirement plans, investments options and credit counseling services.

The Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine has become an essential part of many African-American communities across North America where it continues to provide fellowship opportunities for its members while advocating for social justice issues in their respective countries.

Overall, the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine is an important part of African-American culture that provides its members with numerous benefits including social activities, business networking opportunities, charitable initiatives and financial services that help them live better lives.

In Reflection on Different Types Of Freemasons

Each type of Freemason has its own custom and traditions, each one unique in its own way. The Blue Lodge, for example, is the most widely recognizable type of Freemasonry in which members go through a series of degrees, culminating in the third degree. The Royal Arch Masons are a higher body of Freemasonry, focusing on the legend of the lost word. The York Rite is another higher-level sect that focuses on Christian teachings. Lastly, the Scottish Rite is a more philosophical type of Freemasonry that includes thirty-two degrees of initiation.

No matter which type of Freemasonry you are interested in getting involved with, it is important to remember that all Masons share a common bond: to help each other become better people and serve their communities. The rituals and philosophies may vary slightly from one organization to another but ultimately, they all share the same goal – to help make our society better by striving for moral excellence.

Freemasonry is an ancient organization with many fascinating secrets and traditions that have been passed down through generations. It offers an opportunity for men to come together and work towards common goals while learning more about themselves and their faith. It can be seen as a beacon of light in dark times – providing friendship, fellowship, and guidance to those who seek it out.

In reflection, there are many different types of Freemasons with different customs and traditions that make up this ancient order. From the Blue Lodge to the Scottish Rite, each has a unique set of principles that guide its members towards bettering themselves and ultimately helping their community. While there may be many differences between these organizations, they all have one thing in common – an unwavering commitment to making our world a better place for everyone!

Esoteric Freemasons